The Pros And Cons Of Jacksonian Democracy

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Although Jacksonian Democrats viewed themselves as guardians of the United States Constitution, Andrew Jackson’s presidency harmed this belief by limiting economic opportunity, political democracy, and individual liberty. While Jacksonians believed in the power of the people, and believed that Jackson could reform the government, Jackson went against constitutional ideas of limiting the power of the federal government, and the rights of the states and the people when handling the government. Jackson had strong knowledge of the Constitution’s stance on the Bank of the United States, but he made poor decisions in action as president, passing on some of the problems to his successor, Martin Van Buren. The contradiction of Jacksonian ideals with…show more content…
Although Jacksonians began with this belief, Jackson failed at keeping the country financially stable for both the government and the people through tariffs, representing executive authority, and leaving America in a financial crisis for Martin Van Buren. Seeking to boost manufacturing, Jackson had Congress pass Tariff of 1828, or the Tariff of Abominations, which were promoted by Jacksonites, but crippled southerners economically. The southerners, with no manufacturing compared to the North and no protectionism on their crops, were afraid of abolitionism, which would further reduce their profit. With the poorer farmers unsupported by Jackson, Jacksonian ideals were already becoming contradictory with Jackson’s actions. Later in Jackson’s first term, Jackson encountered the Bank War, with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay attempting to renew the Bank of the United States’ Charter. Jackson vetoed the renewal with the rationale that the bank was not “compatible with justice, with sound policy, or with the Constitution of our country” (Doc B). He believed that a bank with “almost a monopoly of the foreign and domestic exchange” (Doc B), the Bank of the United States could regulate commerce individually without consent from the people. While attempting to support the Constitution with vetoing the unconstitutional bank, he went against the Constitution with the veto itself. Through vetoing the extension of the bank’s charter, he exhibited “executive pretension over every power of the government” (Doc C). Displaying his power as president to make decisions for every person in America, he put the government more responsible for commerce regulation. Jackson removed all federal deposits from Nicholas Biddle’s Bank, proposing to deposit no more funds, dooming the privately-owned bank. With federal funds put

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